Rivals Gets it Right

In addition to any basketball developments that may take place in recruiting and with the new staff, the next couple of weeks will see SFN spend a lot more time focusing on football.

We’ll be developing a lot of our own entries, but we will never hesitate to direct you to spend time at other sites/blogs your time will be well spent there. With that in mind, this entry definitely deserves some of your time.

The guy from MGOBLOG has put together an awesome look at reviewing the performance of college football players compared to their recruiting rankings as leaving high school. He uses a subjective five point scale to create rankings and generates somevery interesting work. (You have to wonder why bloggers are the ones that come up with this kind of creative work as opposed to Rivals or Insiders or other resources?)

While Feldman’s piece (SFN – a recent piece on ESPN.com) clearly illuminates the downside of college football recruiting, there is a case to be made for the enteprise other than “yay money.” Do recruiting rankings matter? I tend to think yes, but it’s fairly common to see people declare rankings to be useless (Braylon Edwards, AJ Hawk) or outstanding based on anecdotal evidence. Anecdotes substituting for actual numbers is a major pet peeve of mine, especially when it’s something fairly easy to compile and track. Enclosed herein is an attempt to rate the Rivals ratings.

I find this kind of retrospective very interesting from an NC State perspective in light of the Wolfpack’s great showing in the 2006 NFL Draft. (Link)

Many national pundits took the opportunity to criticize Chuck Amato’s coaching staff for failing to win more games last year with all of the “talent” that was drafted from the Wolfpack’s defense. But, the pundits failed to note that two of State’s three first round draft choices (John McCargo and Manny Lawson) were both rated as just 1-star recruits in high school and garnered little recruiting interest from the big named college football programs. Sometimes I think that ONLY NC State could get “criticized” for taking unknown high school players and developing them into first round draft picks (one leaving school a year early!!)

You will need to go to the MGO’s blog to see the set up and the analysis, but you should probably click here and read The Mess That is Tom Lemming to understand some of the set up:

The Feldman piece (on ESPN) linked previously is a recap of the ’02 Army All-American game and provides hilarious insight into the deeply twisted mind of Tom Lemming, who put college fooball legends Jake Carney, Marcus Freeman, and Scott Raridon — Irish recruits all — in the game. There were no fewer than twelve Irish recruits in the game, including three tight ends! Of course, Notre Dame’s legendary 2002 recruiting class would proceed to extend Notre Dame’s streak without a bowl win to 58 years and leave their indelible mark on us all.

Recent Related:
Don’t hesitate to take a look around at some of our recent football links and leave us some good comments:

* Focus on Football

* Carter-Finley’s Best, Part I

* SMQ’s Premature Assessment

* Kudos for ACC Football

Football Recruiting General NCS Football

13 Responses to Rivals Gets it Right

  1. VaWolf82 05/24/2006 at 9:53 AM #

    Anecdotes substituting for actual numbers is a major pet peeve of mine, especially when it’s something fairly easy to compile and track.

    I can already tell that I’m going to like this guy.

  2. BJD95 05/24/2006 at 10:26 AM #

    NC State (and Chuck Amato) should get both credit and blame, IMHO.

  3. ncsuman 05/24/2006 at 11:12 AM #

    I know this is off topic, but any idea as to where Larry Davis is going? His announcement is set for tomorrow.

  4. Mr O 05/24/2006 at 11:36 AM #

    Chuck Amato put some of the best defenses in the nation on the field the last several years. That four year stretch included one subpar D when we replaced almost our entire two deep chart on the defensive line after the Gator Bowl year. Other than that we played great defense the other three years.

    You can’t win in the ACC only playing good defense and you can’t win only playing good offense. There were definite reasons we went 3-5 in the ACC last year and the year prior – our offense flat out stunk. Prior to the last two years, we were known as having one of the best offensive football teams in the ACC. Then Rivers, Locklear and Cotchery graduated – three NFL draft picks. Amato and co. didn’t get worse as coaches…they just had an offense with a different level of talent.

    Amato and the coaches that recruited more than a dozen NFL players since Amato was hired should get credit for their abilities to identify talent and develop these players. Largely, Amato and most of his staff don’t deserve criticism for being “bad coaches”. Last year, you could definitely argue that we should have used the same offense the first half of the year that we used the 2nd half of the season. However, my guess is that Amato didn’t want to put limitations on his new offensive coordinator right when he stepped on board. Again though, I don’t think it is exactly fair to draw the conclusion that our staff coached poorly last year.

    Our problems last year stemmed from a much larger issue and IMO is the primary knock against Amato at this point in time – his ability to manage his coaching staff. Most of the coaches that recruited all of these NFL players are no longer on our staff. There has been no continuity in who is coaching what position on a year-to-year basis. Amato obviously understands recruiting from his time at FSU and from putting a dozen+ guys in the NFL over the last several years. In terms of performance, we have had some of the great offenses and defenses in our program’s history with Amato as our head coach. So, there is some evidence that Amato can get it done at NC State.

    However, putting together a staff that can recruit, coach and most importantly who are happy at NC State will be the key to his success IMO. Amato has been able to land some hired guns, but in the long run we might have been better off getting lesser known guys that are more likely to stay here for a while.

  5. class of 74 05/24/2006 at 12:08 PM #

    Mr. O I happen to agree with most of your points. Chuck has a good eye for talent that seems to be his strong suit. I think the overall talent level is miles ahead of where we were before Chuck arrived but the results are not showing up in the W/L column as they should.

    IMHO he should stay totally out of the offensive side of the game day operations and let his OC handle all of those matters. He seems to be a control freak and his meddlesome ways have come back to hurt us several times. He needs to hire competent staff and let them do their jobs. I’ll always believe the turnover in staff is due to this meddlesome nature.

  6. Mr O 05/24/2006 at 12:17 PM #

    Class of 74: Do you think the change in our offense with Stone as our QB was a result of Trestman or Amato’s meddling?

    I have no inside knowledge either way, but if I had to guess, then our early season problems were more a result of Amato staying out of the offense and then our mid-season changes were a result of Amato getting involved. If so, then maybe this is one instance where Amato meddled wisely. IMO, Trestman tried to do way, way too much with Jay Davis.

    But I do agree long-term that Trestman should be left alone to do what he sees fit. Hopefully any adjustment period to the college game is over for Trestman and Stone has matured greatly.

  7. RickJ 05/24/2006 at 12:51 PM #

    FYI – from a release by the ACC:

    “On Wednesday, 5/24 at 11 p.m. ET (re-airs at 1 a.m.), FSN South’s AROUND THE SOUTH program previews the 2006 Atlantic Coast Conference football season. ATS, which airs in this time slot each Sunday through Thursday, spotlights stories about the athletes, coaches and teams that define the culture of sports in the South.”

  8. choppack1 05/24/2006 at 12:59 PM #

    Regarding the rivals scoring and the blogs analysis. I have to wonder if you can’t quantify academics or calendar beforehand. I think due to the oppressive privacy laws, it’s probably difficult, but I’m just wondering. Freakish injuries can happen to anyone, but in most cases, it’s pretty obvious who is going to have academic issues.

    If a kid has a low GPA and low SAT scores – and it’s not trending upward, shouldn’t he be downgraded as a COLLEGE football prospect since his chances of staying eligible for a certain amount of time aren’t great?

  9. class of 74 05/24/2006 at 1:49 PM #

    Re: Last season’s QB swapout. I have no clue who made the call but we all know the fans were all but ready to revolt without some changes. Sadly for Davis he was judged unfairly against Stone and a much simpler offense scheme than the one he was asked to run. I don’t know the results would have been any different if Davis had run the same plays as Stone ran. I do respect Davis’ first class attitude following the swap in roles. He showed me a lot.

  10. mthornto 05/24/2006 at 3:22 PM #

    Coach Amato made the call on last season’s QB swapout. Coach Amato is loyal to his players (sometimes to a fault) and hated to pull the plug on Jay, but knew that it needed to be done. Coach Trestman was struggling to adjust to the college game. Hopefully, the adjustment has been made and Coach Trestman can lead the offense well. Coach Amato has gotten an unfair rep (IMO) for being overbearing and meddlesome. Coaches as a whole are usually people with a lot of self-confidence and sometimes they can bang heads. I’ve been around Coach Amato numerous times in both “public” and private moments and have never seen him act in an arrogant or pig-headed manner. Some of the private reasons that coaches have left are very different from the public announcements. Some were “encouraged” to seek employment elsewere due to personal problems and allowed to appear to be leaving for a “better situation”. Better to believe in our Coach and his management than to try and second guess everything

    Off my soapbox now!!

  11. class of 74 05/24/2006 at 3:48 PM #

    ^If this season is successful the second guessing will subside if not well, he knew the job was tough when he took it!

  12. haxsaw98 05/24/2006 at 7:39 PM #

    This site ROCKS! Thanks for keeping us all informed on the coaching situation. Sorry to get off the subject, but can we get some conversation going on the excellent win over the tarholes in baseball today. I may be missing something about that not being important here, but I think it’s fabulous. Thanks again for all the wonderful research and commentary on this site.

  13. StateFans 05/25/2006 at 7:23 AM #

    ^ It is not about it not being important. It is about the mission of the site NOT being about every piece of “news” and not being focused just on open conversation (like a message board) regarding every topic.

    We are a blog; not a news site. We are five guys who have real jobs, real lives, real responsibilities and only have so much time in our day. We can’t do everything. That is why the other sites exist.

    Thanks so much for the very kind words!!! They are much appreciated.

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